The campus remains closed with all summer courses being conducted online and staff working remotely. Classes will resume on August 31, 2020 for the fall semester. For updates on campus operations, both virtual and in person, for the fall semester, please see the Fall 2020 Info Hub page.

Diana Agrest


View Projects

Diana Agrest is an internationally renowned architect well known for her unique and pioneering approach to architecture and urbanism. Her work has developed in both practice and theory. She has designed and built projects of a variety of types and scales: urban master plans, buildings, residences and interiors, and has received numerous awards.

Agrest is a full-time Professor at The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union. She has taught at Princeton University, Columbia University and Yale, and has been candidate for deanship at The Cooper Union and Pratt Institute. She was a fellow of the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City from 1972 to 1984. 

As part of a series on "50 Great Teachers," the April 21, 2015 broadcast on "All Things Considered" focused on Prof. Agrest's sometimes surprising methods for approaching the study of architecture. Listen to the full story here.

Agrest has been a pioneer in developing a critical approach to urban theory that articulates film and the city. She created and directed “Framing the City: Film, Video, Urban Architecture,” which was shown at The Whitney Museum of American Art in 1993. She wrote, produced and directed the documentary "The Making of an Avant-Garde: The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies 1967-1984" in 2013. For more information on "The Making of an Avant-Garde" visit

Since 1989 Agrest has worked both in practice and theory on the subject of nature, developing projects at various scales, from large cities to parks in China, the United States and Europe.

Her publications include:

The Sex of Architecture. Agrest, Conway, Weisman Eds., Abrams,1996
Agrest & Gandelsonas: Works. Princeton Architectural Press, 1995.
Architecture from Without: Theoretical Framings for a Critical Practice. MIT Press, 1991.
A Romance With the City: The Works of Irwin S  Chanin. The Cooper Union with Rizzoli, 1984.

Work and Writings featured in Books and Encyclopedias, include:

Modern Architecture A-Z. Peter Gössel, Benedikt Taschen GmbH, 2007
New York 2000: Architecture and Urbanism from the Bicentennial to the Millennium. Stern, Fishman, Tilove, The Monacelli Press, 2007
A Guide To Contemporary Architecture In America. Vol 2. Toto, Tokyo, 2006
Informal City. Kristin Freireiss, Prestel, 2005
Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century Architecture. Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003
Encyclopedie de l’Architecture du XX Siecle. Hazan, Paris, 2003
New York Architects. Allan Balfour, Willey and Son, 2002
1000 New York Buildings. Bill Harris, Jorg Brockmann, Judith Dupre, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2002
AIA Guide to New York Architecture. current

Agrest has received grants from the Graham Foundation, NYSCA, and the Brunner Grant among others for her film: "The making of an Avant-garde: IAUS 1967-1984"©, now in post-production.

Her work has been exhibited in museums, galleries and universities throughout this country and abroad, including Schenzen Biennial; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Walker Art Center; The Dallas Museum of Contemporary Art; The Fogg Museum; Leo Castelli, New York; Center Pompidou, Paris; Minalo Triennale; the German Architecture Museum, Frankfurt.

Diana Agrest graduated with an architectural diploma from the University of Buenos Aires and completed her post graduate studies at the Center de Recherche d'Urbanisme, and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes,Vi Section in Paris, France.


Projects & Links

Related News Items

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.